Humans are social animals. They have constant needs for love and care. Right from the time a baby is born to when a person becomes old, everyone needs someone to depend on and fall back upon. Well, this dependency or support forms the core foundation of any relationship, whether parent-child, husband-wife, boss-employee or any other. However, when this dependency becomes dysfunctional, the dynamics change entirely. It leads to codependency.
Codependency is defined as a relationship where one partner demands excessive attention and care to meet their emotional needs from the other partner to the point of addiction. One partner is emotionally weak, while the other one is strong and provides stability to the
relationship. When the strong partner is not around, the weaker one can go through mood swings, become control freak, manipulative, obsessed or abusive, and even fall ill. There is no balance in a codependent relationship.
Codependency can be commonly seen in romantic relationships and couples, but it is applicable to the family also. In the name of happiness, you become a people-pleaser and forget to create boundaries. You feel guilty to step out of this dysfunctional relationship. It
prevents you from having a happy and emotionally satisfying relationship. You do not have an independent life in a codependent relationship.
Signs/Symptoms of Codependency
How do you identify a codependent relationship? Look out for the following signs:
- You feel unloved and inadequate to the extent of having lower self-esteem.
- You always let your partner have his or her way to please or avoid situations of anger, resent and confrontations.
- You always keep on giving and compromising.
- You go out of your way or sacrifice your happiness to make the codependent happy.
- You feel guilty about the partner’s actions and behaviour, and want to fix their problems.
- You are so invested in your partner that you lose touch with the rest of your family, friends or social circle.
- Your moods and day are affected by your partner’s behaviour.
- You live in the constant denial of your feelings and do not acknowledge them. It is as if you need your partner’s approval to pay attention to yourself.
Ways to Break the Codependency Pattern
- If you can relate to the above signs, then you need support to fix this relationship.
- Explain the situation honestly to your partner – establish boundaries.
- Learn to express your feelings, needs and desires.
- Reconnect with family and friends – hang out with people other than your partner.
- Take out time for self. Most importantly, don’t feel guilty about it.
- Seep professional help – go for couple’s therapy or independent counselling with the best life coaches in India or wherever you are located in the world.
Are you living in a codependent relationship? Then, get in touch with me at email@example.com. Together, we will work on reducing the codependency in your relationship, enhancing your self-esteem and taking a step towards a happy life.